Of Mice and Men Quotes- Characters

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  • Created by: AlyxG
  • Created on: 22-04-16 20:35

George

"Guys like us that work on ranches are the loneliest guys in the world." -George relates that loneliness is responsible for much of that suffering, a theory supported by many of the secondary characters. George and Lennie's bond is precious in the society to readers in the 1930's. Portrays key theme of the novel (loneliness.)

"If I was alone I could live so easy." - Although George wishes he had an easier lifestyle, his friendship with Lennie is dear to him. Yearns for a normal life similar to the other ranchers.

"Small quick, dark of face, with restless eyes and sharp strong features." - Secretive, "s" one syllable words, to create emphasis of a hissing sound. Describes appearance, "restless" could seem he is not relaxed. Infers unhappiness.

"If I was bright, if I was even a little bit smart, I'd have my own little place..." - Seems to think if he was smarter he could achieve the American Dream. If everyone could achieve the dream would it still be a dream? 

"We kinda look after each other." - George's care of Lennie gives him a role in life as a father figure in the relationship. Early on it made him feel superior now it makes him different/gives him status. Nobody would fight George knowing they would have to deal with Lennie. 

 

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Slim

"Godlike" "Moved with majesty" - An attractive almost prince/godly appearance. Admired and looked up to. He respects others, such as Crooks, and gains respect back. Represents power and importance.

"His hands, large and lean, were as delicate in their action as those of a temple dancer." - His hands are strong and masculine, but also suggests some femininity in that he is like an artist. 

"Couldn't feed that many." - Although he had to drown a few puppies it was because of general decency. He knows life is hard and has practical understanding. Symbolises decency/conscience of the novel.

"Understanding beyond thought." - Doesn't need to think things through in order to understand them. Realises instinctively how George and Lennie get along and why George had to kill Lennie("You hadda George.")

"Jerkline skinner." - Good status on the ranch, hard working, lead worker in the bunkhouse.

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Lennie

"I don' like this place, George. This ain't no good place.." - Foreshadows danger for Lennie and other ranchers. Ironic how he thinks cleverly that there will be danger.

"The way a bear drags his paws." - Simple and animal like. The only way he copes is to be tethered to his master similar to a dog. Bears may also be harmful or dangerous when threatened similar to Lennie.

"I done a real bad thing." - Can't control himself, no moral judgement and things are good or bad depending on what George thinks of them.

"Jes' like a kid." - Naive, emphasises childlike innocence and his simplicity.

"[Lennie] can put up more grain alone than most pairs can." - Very strong and George sees it as an asset in their work.

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Candy

"Tall, stoop shouldered old man." - Right from the start his physical weakness and age are emphasised. He represents discrimination of the elderly in this era.

"A drag-footed sheep dog, grey of muzzle and with pale, blind old eyes." Candy is described through his dog. His relationship with his dog mirrors George and Lennie's. When hs dog is shot it foreshadows the shooting of Lennie, at the back of the head.

"Grinning with delight." - When he plans the ranch with George and Lennie. Steinbeck may be suggesting to see people who they are inside and not judge by appearances.

".. I wishd't somebody'd shoot me. But they won't do nothing like that." - World treats old men like Candy as bad as old dogs. They make the elderly suffer, but will shoot an animal.

"No good." "Lousy tart." "So it's all off." - Candy buying into the dream increases desolation at the end. It's not just Curley's Wife dead but also the American Dream, as expressed in his bitterness towards her.

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Curley

"Well, nex' time you answer when you're spoken to." - Trying to prove to George and Lennie he's taking the role of the boss and holds power over them.

"Head of tightly curled hair." - He's not very relaxed which is represented in his hair. 

"Glove full'a vaseline." - He can either not pleasure his wife, or another interpretation is that he beats her up and he's trying to hide the bruises, (which could also be why she wears a lot of makeup.)

"Cause his old man's the boss." - Curley's power in the novella is huge and an example of social injustice. He's a major figure in revealing the injustice of the world the ranch hands work in.

"He wore high heeled boots and spurs." - Allegedly wanting to prove he's not a labouring man. Could be because he's insecure of his height or wants to show his status as the boss' son.

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Curley's Wife

"Red shoes with ostrich feathers." "Her fingernails were red." "Heavily made up." - She makes herself pretty as she is only seen as a sexual object. Red could symbolise love as she is flrtatious or danger. Ostriches generally stick their head in the sand and can't fly, similar to her being trapped on the ranch or in a relationship.

"He says he was gonna put me in the movies." - She had dreams too.

"You know what I can do to you if you open your trap?" -  Uses the power her status gives her even if it's unfair. Can be vindictive and thinks she is superior to Crooks, Lennie and Candy.

"They left all the weak ones." - She too was left, supposing she is a 'weak one' too.

"She was very pretty and simple, and her face was sweet and young." - Never really evil, perhaps a victim. Her punishment outweighs any crimes she committed. Highlights what's wrong with society, she is seen as a devil when alive and an angel when dead.

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Crooks

"The boss gives him hell when he's mad. But the stable buck don't give a damn about that." - Crooks is still proud, independent and intelligent. None of these admirable features stop the boss giving him hell because he's black.

"...he had thin, pain tightened lips." - His life is dominated by pain being the only black one and having a disability (A double burden) but he rises above that pain.

"Crooks had reduced himself to nothing." - Shows how little power a coloured man has in the novel and the world at this time. Differs slightly from today even though some are still racist.

"Crooks was looking across the room now, looking towards the window." - All he wants is to be free because he's trapped in both the ranch and society.

"But you won't get no land." - Crooks's structural role is to appear 2/3 of the way in and forewarn and prepare readers for the destruction of the dream.

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